Sven Wunder’s third album in three years is out now on Mr Bongo. After exploring 70s Anatolian rock and Japanese min’yō in his last two fusion jazzy tomes, “Natura Morta” draws from still life paintings and its relationship with nature.
Deer Tick at the Paredes de Coura festival 2012. Amílcar Rodrigues
Vodafone Paredes de Coura 2013 starts in exactly one week – yes, unusually, it starts in a Tuesday. The festival has now consolidated its 5 days long format (even though the first two are nothing but “warm-up” days, with concerts taking place on the small stage from 8pm on) and this is us trying to point out which gigs you should pay the most attention to. If you still haven’t, head here to print the beautiful timetables we did with the great folks at P3.
Sensible Soccers. Fernando Rodrigues
Day 1, 13/Aug
Sensible Soccers (21:55) steal the spotlight on a day that looks like a “foreigners, please help yourself to some decent Portuguese bands” showcase. They’ve just released a fresh new single and they’ll probably play some new songs off their yet untitled debut LP to be released until the end of the year. Electro-powered danceteria follows with Discotexas alumnus Moullinex (23:20) and a DJ set by some dudes who call themselves The Filthy Pigs (00:50), but be sure to arrive there early: even though we don’t really think alternative rock bisons O Bisonte (20:50) fit this lineup, if you enjoy songs you’ll surely enjoy TAPE JUNk (19:50), an interesting – to say the least – homage to the country/folk classics we all know and love by Julie and the Carjackers’ João Correia.
Alabama Shakes. (AS Facebook page)
Day 2 – 14/Aug
We’ve talked about Discotexas before, and a band comprised of a shitload of artists from said label storms the Vodafone FM stage at the beginning of day 2 (19:50), the first with international artists. 00s indie psychedelia act Unknown Mortal Orchestra (21:00) are up next, blending a flicker of modernity with 60s infectiously mushroomy pop and Kevin Barnes before Alabama Shakes’ (22:15) traditionalism based on R&B and early rock and roll music brings us what will probably be the best moment of the festival so far. Can’t wait to check out Brittany Howard’s soulful voice live. From Agadez to Nashville, desert rocker Bombino (23:40) is the responsible for the “world music” moment of this years’ Paredes de Coura after being discovered by Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, thus making Omara Bombino Moctarin someone to look upon for people who listen the same 50 indie pop/rock records that every major indie music publication usually champion every year. The party goes on with a Headbirds DJ set (00:50). They’ve released something in the new Primavera record label, which is akin to stamping ‘quality’ all over an act’s name.
Hot Chip. (HC Facebook page)
Day 3, 15/Aug
First “proper” day of the festival that starts with the traditional concert at the “Jazz in the Grass” stage, outside the festival bounds, in the riverside right next to the camping site. NACO opens this stage (15:30) with his fingerpicked instrumental songs, paving the way for dream poppy Widowspeak (18:00) in the Vodafone FM (VFM) stage. The Brooklynites are one of the bands to watch in a day marked by most bands’ irrelevance, at least for people older than 21 who can grow a beard, thus we’ll proceed by just namedropping close-to-mainstream indie pop bands which audience will be composed of 99% kids and smily girls: Everything Everything (18:40, Vodafone stage), Veronica Falls (not again, Jesus Christ) (19:15, VFM) and Jagwar Ma (19:55, Vodafone). 90s-inspired, guitar-heavy dreamers Toy (20:25, VFM) will probably heat up things a little bit before The Vaccines (21:20, V) allow everyone who’s over 21 and has a decent taste enjoy themselves a nice, warm dinner away from the main stage. While Victoria Christina Hesketh’s Little Boots (21:40, VFM) kind of appeals to a similar demographic, at least she seems to know how to party, successfuly warming up people for the real festivity of day 3: Hot Chip (22:50, V), a powerful dance machine with a handful of records on its wing and another handful of absolute dance classics for the millenial generation in the other (“Over and Over”, “Ready for the Floor”, “And I Was A Boy From School”, “I Feel Better”, “Don’t Deny Your Heart”, the list goes on), to be followed by a exquisite performance by The Knife (00:20), which we can’t really consider as a concert, at least judging from accounts we read online. Read this one at Quietus or let yourself be surprised. Opinions vary a lot, ranging from the usual “OMG LIFECHANGING” to the also usual “What? This isn’t music, most of it was pre-recorded, wtf, I want my money back”. Spanish producer John Talabot (02:00, VFM) and Joe Goddard’s The 2 Bears (03:10, VFM) keep the party moving in the first afterhours of this years’ edition of the festival.
Echo & the Bunnymen. (E&tB Facebook page)
Day 4, 16/Aug
Oldie post-punkers Echo & the Bunnymen (23:05, V) are the highlight in yet another day of Vodafone Paredes de Coura fueled by innocuous adolescent brit indie pop/rock (The Horrors (21:35, V), Citizens! (19:15, VFM) and Peace (20:05, V)). Good national values are here to save the day, though: singer-songwriter Noiserv (18:00, VFM) will most likely showcase some new songs off his soon-to-be-released follow up to the excellent EP “A Day in the Day of the Days”, and Barcelos garage rockers The Glockenwise (18:50, V) will present their new album (which they already did in other festivals around the country like Optimus Primavera Sound, Marés Vivas or Fusing) in the big stage. The main focus of interest of day 4 will be divided by the two coolest bands (and yes, that’s a pun with the names of both acts) to take the Vodafone FM stage, though: Danish grim punkers Iceage (20:35) will surely provide the biggest amount of moshpit action in a kinda gutless festival and electro-goth-pop darlings Cold Cave (21:55) will try to prove if they’re worthy of sharing stages with sacred beasts like Gary Numan or Boyd Rice. Simian Mobile Disco (00:50) will, like Hot Chip, try to turn the festival site into a giant dancing arena, before Delorean (02:00) and Will Saul (03:10) narrow it all down to the small stage again. We’re quite curious to see what the new album by the Basque outfit sounds like. And we don’t really know who Will is. Better call Saul! (0/10).
Calexico. (Facebook page)
Day 5, 17/Aug
Hands down, the best day of this years’ edition of the festival. The “adventurous pop music” of Portuguese electronic musician :papercutz (18:00, VFM) opens the most interesting day in the secondary stage and is followed by lo-fi prince and cassette lover Matt Mondanile (Real Estate), and his side project Ducktails (19:10). Meanwhile, Barcelos’ stoners Black Bombaim (18:30, V) tear the main stage apart before Palma Violets (19:30, V), the next big thing when it comes to skinny-jeans adolescent brit rock (yes, more of this AGAIN) gather a ton of kiddos around the stage again. And then, well, fuck everything this world still has to offer: after having to endure a ton of boring concerts throughout the course of the past two days, destiny wanted two of the most interesting bands in the lineup to overlap: while singer-songwriter Matt Houck (Phosphorescent, 20:20, VFM) presents his latest album, Muchacho – undoubtly one of the best of the year, so far – Calexico (20:40, V) plays their first show in Portuguese soil after 2004’s concerts in Gaia and Lisbon. That’s nine years. Please, never again. Expect stellar desert-inspired songs, Mariachi music, some Spanish lyrics thrown here and there, a lot of horns and every single good thing the USA-Mexican border has to offer to poor Portuguese who never even crossed the Atlantic. And yes, I’m too excited for the Calexico show, which almost makes me forget about Belle and Sebastian (22:10, V). Perfect twee pop songs for us to sit down in the grass and start depressing while thinking about packing and leaving the morning after. Either that, or if you’re one of the cheerful ones, you could shake your head for a little bit in the Vodafone FM stage with sludgy garage rockers Bass Drum of Death (21:35), preparing to go out with a bang with a Justice DJ set (23:55, V). In case you survive, math-rockers And So I Watch You from Afar (02:00, VFM) are waiting for your necks at the afterhours stage, before you go clubbin’ again with XXXY (03:10, VFM) and indie-electro-pop-rock DJ Phizz (05:00, VFM). Then, you see someone singing/shouting either folk standard “Goodnight Irene” or Bobby Bare’s “Detroit City” (lol, bankruptcy) while heading home for the last time, come and join him if you know the lyrics.